Sports Direct billionaire Mike Ashley has blamed “greedy landlords” for the closure of three House of Fraser department stores.Mr Ashley, who bought the retailer out of administration for £90m, announced on Sunday that 15 sites previously earmarked for closure will stay open.But stores in Edinburgh, Hull and Swindon will close after the failure of negotiations over cuts in rents.Landlords have hit back, saying “each party will have its own interests”.In a statement, House of Fraser said at least 20 stores have now agreed new rental terms, safeguarding about 3,500 jobs.However, in addition to the three closures, a fourth store in Bath is also at risk of closure as the businessman negotiates with council authorities, the outlet’s landlord, over new rental terms.Hundreds of staff affected by the three store closures are now going through redundancy consultation.After buying House of Fraser in August, Mr Ashley said he was hopeful that most of the department store chain’s 59 sites would remain open.His Sports Direct bought all the stores, including the 31 that had been earmarked for closure under a previous restructuring plan that has now been abandoned.’Pull together’Mr Ashley, who also owns Newcastle United football club, said on Sunday: “I am disappointed that… Read full this story
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